An endless open road, clear or in some preferences cloudy sky and no particular destination in mind; is an idea of freedom epitomised by the happy movie endings and we all wonder what fun it must have been. Nobody follows the car post the happy ending to see if the driver got a stomach upset in the coming days because he did not pack the right food for the road-trip. It gets even trickier if you are in a country like India; all thanks to the scorching heat, dust, unbearable cold, fog etc. alongside many roadside eateries who have sworn on not giving you fresh food ever.
What to eat on a road trip is an integral part of the overall experience. Make a mistake and you will be searching for the next relieving facility throughout the journey or would be cranky for reasons unknown to others. There can be other disturbances too, better left to the imagination of our discerning readers.
How light is light enough and is fried really bad? Is Mac’n’Cheese with iced tea a good idea and how can the Dhaba food be bad at all? You will never know unless it happens to you. Keep these following recommendations about what to eat on a road trip in mind to be rather safe than sorry:
- There is no substitute to water – you can add lemon to it, but no masala and no soda please. Fresh Juices are excellent fluids and great companions for road trips. Green teas keep it all clear and happy.
- If you have difficulty finding fresh fruit juice, opt for fresh fruits. Tip – try and find new fruits other than apples and bananas.
- So you cannot do without snacks and salt – here are some healthier options: baked banana chips, whole wheat pretzels, dry museli or with curd, fresh cut veggies and dips
- Some of us just cannot do without breads when thinking of what to eat on a road trip and hence, a peanut butter sandwich, jelly sandwich and/or cheese sandwich with sliced cucumber and tomatoes does the trick.
- The only problem with boiled eggs packed in a container is the stench it leaves. So keep the shell on till you are ready to eat. You need your protein.
- Granola/Protein bars are not for everyone. But if you dip your granola bar in yoghurt, it might be an all new experience for your taste buds to relish.
- Home-cooked Indian breads aren’t a complete no; baked and not deep-fried fenugreek parathas will help you every time you crave for salt. Curd, again pitches in for the rescue.
- A lot of us are lactose intolerant and it is bothersome, at least in the head. So avoid milk and try soy milk or curd instead. Have black coffee wherever necessary.
- Nuts aren’t really that boring; Mix almonds, cashews, figs, dried apple, walnuts, drip apricots, pistachios etc and it tastes great.
- If motion sickness bothers you, try mint/ginger/cinnamon tea (you could also chew on mint leaves). Mix pepper and lemon juice in a bit of warm water to get rid of headache and dizziness. Cloves are tried and tested too.
Quick-tip: Please carry reusable water bottles and do not have tap water if you are not sure. Always keep a multi-purpose knife handy for fruits and other brief preparations. Bread and your favorite seasoning always come in handy. Rather than eating too much in one go, eat little many times.
Cheat-tip: If nothing of the above really works for you. Pull over to the next road-side dhaba and ask the guy to make fresh baked breads (rotis) alongside dal tadka. Add green salads and curd to the same and you will be good to go for another few hundred kilometers. Just don’t overeat.
When it gets unbearable, I make samosa sandwiches, by pressing a samosa between two bread slices and a slice of cheese and it gets me going till the next salt craving.